Searching For Hope When Times are Tough
Searching for that thing we call hope has been incredibly elusive in past months.
Sure, you found it in the giggles of the children as they roamed the streets in costume during Halloween.
You will undoubtedly see it in the faces of the children as they race toward the tree on Christmas morning.
But, where do you find it when everything in the media has judgment and sarcasm?
I’m dumbfounded by the anger in the voices of the people around me. It’s like some evil veil has fallen over the land and enveloped every soul in a competition to see who can prove themselves right.
Make it STOP!
Finding Hope In Many Places
The first thing you need to do is to turn off the cable news channels. Try watching the Hallmark Christmas Movies instead. I can’t think of a better catalyst to restore hope other than the miracles of Christmas.
Where do you look for hope in your life? Close your eyes and think for a moment. Where does the real desire in your life originate? Now, reach for a pen and paper and make a list of where the hope in your life arises.
- Does it come from your brain? Can you control your thoughts when the anger is spinning out of control around you?
- Can it come from your heart? Do you find hope in the things that warm your heart and make you want to get up each morning invigorated by the thoughts of those who bring you joy and hope?
- Or, does it come from a higher power? Do you believe that God holds your spirit in his hand every moment of the day?
Finding hope is primarily a leap of faith for all of us. We combine the cognitive choices made in our mind with the emotions we allow to percolate in our hearts. Then, we add in the faith that has propelled us through both the good and bad times in our lives.
Blessed is the man who trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. Jeremiah 17:7
When some of the most significant medical minds in the Twin Cities destroyed all my hope for the future in 1979, I gave up. I’d been conditioned since childhood to accept the voices of authority. Were you raised this way too?
I don’t believe it was by accident that three years later I did something I was physically unable to do.
I managed the stairs at the house in Lakeville and went down to the storage closet to drag out an old box I’d had for years. The carton came from my childhood home.
I was angry that day. Unfortunately, I directed that anger toward God for allowing a construction truck to hit our car. I was also mad that I was responsible now for my bipolar mother.
How could I take care of my husband, my children, and my mother when I was incapable of accomplishing the most straightforward tasks?
There was absolutely no logical reason I would take on that box in my current mood. And yet, a much stronger force directed me to the closet the day I found the “I Can.”
God’s Angels Watch Over Us
I’ve thought of Grandpa Burton and talked to him since the day he died. The very suggestion that angels don’t exist is unacceptable to me.
Whether it was God or my Guardian Angel who brought me to that box that day isn’t as important as the renewed hope I found inside that box. It was as if someone lifted the chains that held me back. I was free again to discover the solutions I believed were right for me.
And so, I challenge you. Don’t accept the voice of authority blindly. We learned in the days after the Weinstein news that far too many people have buckled under the harsh hand of bureaucracy.
It isn’t my fault, and it isn’t yours that we’ve been brainwashed to allow others to destroy every ounce of hope in our lives.
This isn’t the way any of us wishes to live. It’s long past the time we needed to revert to the pure faith we learned in Sunday School as we were growing up.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
Hope in a Time of Turmoil
There is so much uncertainty in our lives today. I hear from author friends from around the world every day. So many of them have expressed concern over the direction our country is moving. Our children are witnessing a time of moral uncertainty unprecedented in the history of this country.
Our hope doesn’t stem from whether the government will offer real solutions to the problems the average American faces each day. No, our hope for our family depends on our mighty God and the expectation that he will fulfill his promises to us.
4 thoughts on “Searching for Hope – Where Do You Find Yours?”
Hope is what keeps us going when we feel there is no reason to go on. I believe that, because I too had a moment when I lost all hope. It happened the day my grandfather died. All of his family lived well into their late 80s, 90s, and there was at least one person who lived to be over 100. My grandfather died when he was 79. That day, I did not loose just Hope. I lost my reason to go on, and the little faith I had in God. I never was very religious. I was always spiritual — I believe in a benevolent force that gives joy and life (I also believe in the counterpoint forces), however I stoped believing in church and any kind of religion the moment I read in a Bible Study manual for children that “women were created to serve men”. That is misogynistic… well for lack of a better word — 💩. I further lost faith in the church when the service would condemn the people who were not religious or believed in different religions. However, I always believed there was someone watching over me until that day. I cannot explain to you the sense of betrayal and emotional pain… It led me to lean outside of a window wondering if I should just let go — maybe if the building was taller, or if the children playing below did not notice me…
I also have stopped watching news, because newscasts these days make me see only the terrible things happening around the globe. I honestly believe that for every horrible person there are many more people who are kind and loving — why don’t newscasters ever focus on them and their efforts to make others’ lives better? There may be such mentions — a single story after a half-hour of misery. Not worth it. No wonder so many people feel angry, hopeless, and depressed.
I also love Hallmark movies — especially the good ones. Recently, I watched Once Upon A Christmas that was a modern version of Roman Holiday and it made me all warm and happy inside. However, a part of me was also sad, because I did not believe in the happy ending the way I would in the past.
People meet and marry after a two-day acquaintance in this day and age? Yeah, right! As Elsa from Frozen says: “You can’t marry a man you just met.”
I’m with you Peggy. As authors and artists let’s do what we can to keep Hope alive.
I was so blessed growing up. I belonged to a church that welcomed everyone. It didn’t matter whether they were Christian, Jewish, Catholic, Muslim…everyone was invited to join us whenever they came. My concept of the bible is that the stories were written by men in a time when women were subservient. Those weren’t God’s words, they were words that made sense at the time. I’ve never taken the written word literally. I don’t believe the loving God I cherish ever intended that. When we moved to Wisconsin, I went to a church and was refused communion because when asked if God created the world in seven days, my answer was, “Yes.” then I nervously giggled and continued, “But I’m not entirely certain it was seven of my days.” That was an honest answer. I was refused communion and told I was not a Christian. I knew there was another Bible verse that allowed me to believe what I knew to be true about creation. When I got home, I called Mom’s best friend and she quoted, “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” @ Peter 3:8. That’s the verse that was in my head when I answered his question, but unlike Mary, I couldn’t remember it under all the stress. Another time, a dear friend challenged me for slipping one perfect line from the Koran into my WIP. She told me that she was taught from childhood that Muslims are possessed of demons. I can’t believe that either. And so, my faith is incredibly strong. I’ve seen miracles, and I also cried for three days when my precious grandfather died. The thing is, we all go at some time, and I know my grandfather passed quickly and easily. I couldn’t have prayed for a better way for him to leave this world. My tears were for my personal loss, and that’s O.K. Thank you so much for sharing your deepest feelings. My God allows each of us to believe in a way the blesses us, not others who take things far too literally.
Yes, HOPE is a beautiful thing. When I finally learned how to HOPE vs. ruminating on all that had been lost and how much pain I was in, life circumstances changed. When I lost the use of my legs and lived in an electric wheelchair for 5 years, it would have been nice if even one person told me there was HOPE I’d be able to walk again. But as time went on, I too became aware of angels. And I truly believe it was angels who have been guiding me on the path I’ve been on since 2010. Now I HOPE my experiences and the wisdom I’ve gained will get out to others like how you are succeeding to do so I can instill a spark of hope in every dire situation. I’m really glad we connected (with the help of angels). Have a beautiful Holiday Season!
Recovery is a miraculous thing, Renee. When I stopped believing all the experts and opened my heart to the miracle of healing through hard work, everything changed It breaks my heart that so many are not given any hope of recovery. My life will never be the same. So, I live with pain each day, but I’m alive. I’ve learned when to stop and when to keep pushing. I pray children discover little Elle Burton and she gives them the inspiration to be empowered to find help if they need it. No one should ever feel as hopeless as I did during the abuse of my childhood, or defeated entirely like I did after the truck came across the center line and hit our car head-on. There has never been a day that I’ve regretted removing the seat belt to grab my children’s heads and push them down into the backseat before impact. We all have a spark of hope within us, and it is our responsibility to find it.